Sunday, January 31, 2010

Celebrating 13 Years Without A Car

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2005/2010 jim otterstrom
Today is the 13th Anniversary of our decision to live without a car.
Peggy and I truly love knowing that we can live quite comfortably without a gas-guzzling, CO2 belching, atmosphere destroying, infernal combustion death-trap parked in our (no longer existent) driveway.
We are proud that our decision means we haven't spewed approximately 163,000 pounds (or 81.5 tons) of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere during those 13 years.
It makes our hearts feel good that we actually enjoy life without an automobile as much or more than we did when we owned one.
It was another step toward freedom from servitude to the corporate state.
We don't buy their cars, we don't buy their gasoline, we don't buy their oil & tires, we don't buy their auto insurance, and we don't borrow their money for car loans.
But, for me, the most important aspect of all this, is that, in a couple of decades when our kids are facing the ever worsening consequences of this culture's destructive behavior, they will know that mom & pop gave enough of a damn about their future to at least make dramatic and constructive changes in our own lifestyles now.
We are leaving our descendents an unimaginable mess and future generations will not look back on us favorably.
The graph below, borrowed from Wikipedia, shows the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the past 50 years. I have slightly modified the chart by circling the maximum 300 to 350 ppm target we need to achieve if we are going to avert irreversible climate catastrophe (read a related up-to-date article here), and by placing a black X at the point where Peggy and I stopped owning cars.
As you can see we got rid of our climate killing vehicle a full decade after that 350 ppm target was exceeded, so---fully realizing by that point in time that we could no longer live at peace with ourselves if we didn't take personal responsibility for our own emissions---we took action.
We're trying to do our part and I'm renewing my pledge right now, to all the species of planet earth, that I will not own another fossil fuel powered vehicle during this lifetime.
On that note, Peggy and I will toast each other tonight with glasses of Pinot Noir over a spaghetti dinner by candlelight.

Click on graph to enlarge
The photo at the top of this post, of a 1940 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 4 Door Sport Sedan, was made on April 18, 2005, at Goffs, a historic railroad town on old Route 66 near Needles, California.
The town is being restored by the Mojave Desert Heritage And Cultural Association, of which Peggy's stepbrother, Phil, is Vice-President.
Peggy, her sister Penny, and I, were out there for the weekend as part a of a volunteer crew to do some weed abatement and other work.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010


Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

The Wolf Moon, the largest, brightest moon of 2010, 14% bigger in diameter and 30% brighter than our lesser full moons (see why here).

The Wolf Moon was named by Native Americans for the wolves howling during cold winter nights. It is also known as The Old Moon, or the After Yule Moon.

The photo was taken from our deck last night at 9:19.

Canon S10IS---Hand held, full zoom (560mm), 1/500th second, f/5.7, ISO 80---cropped.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Keith Olbermann's Quick Comment about Haiti, Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh

Enough said!
And thank you Mr. Olbermann for saying it...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Good Morning...

We are the greatest nation of consumers and polluters in the history of the planet.

We should be very proud...

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Court Jester...

...overstepping the bounds
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom
"His characteristic idiom suggests he is a 'natural' fool, not an artificial one, though his perceptiveness and wit show that he is far from being an idiot, however 'touched' he might be.
His folly could be regarded as the raving of a madman but was often deemed to be divinely inspired.
He holds up a mirror to make us aware of our times, mocking politicians and public figures of power and authority.
He served not simply to amuse but to criticize his masters, or mistresses, and their guests.
Jesters could also give bad news to the King that no one else would dare deliver."*
Perhaps this is my calling, Court Jester to the Evil Empire, but then again, there are so many of us... many fools dancing to the tune of our masters while cautiously poking fun, as best we can, without provoking any fatal consequences.
Keep 'em laughing, keep 'em amused, but whatever you do, don't overstep the bounds...
Alas, when I get too near the edge, I can always change hats and revert to my cover as an artsy-craftsy garden gnome.
But not just yet, these are the cold dark days of winter and I'm still feeling a tad bit cranky...
(Stay tuned for 'Looking Back From The Future', Part 3)

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Friday, January 01, 2010

In the First Gloaming of the New Year...

~From Our Deck~
January 1st, 2010 ~ 5:01 p.m.
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

The Sons of the Pioneers---back in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s---sang of Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Cool Clear Water, and Blue Shadows on Timber Trails, invoking harmonic poetic imagery which defined with great clarity the open prairies and rugged mountains of the Southern California I grew up in.

In several songs they also sang about, "The Gloaming", a term you don't hear much anymore which describes the light of the sky during those brief moments between day and night.

Nowadays we would usually think of that time as dusk, or twilight, but whenever I see a sky like this I am definitely, 'In The Gloaming', and I can hear those sweet cowboy harmonies ringing through eternity.

~A Joyful New Year To All~

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